Tag Archives: VisualAssignments

Story Map for Do These, Danny Keys!

As the final piece of my “Do These, Danny Keys” story project, I opted to make a map that shows all of the possibilities within the story. Each large dot is a section, each green one is a choice you can make within the story, and each orange dot is one of the assignments I created for this project, or a “Find” that you can stumble on as you’re reading.

I made this map as a means of helping you make sure you got everything, since choose your own adventure stories tend to leave the readers in a loop sometimes. Did you really see everything? Will you know until you’ve been playing and reading the same things over and over again for two straight hours? Well, now you don’t need to worry. Once you think you’ve gotten everything, you can check back here and follow the lines to confirm. Enjoy!

This story map is an assignment itself, worth 3 1/2 stars.


Seaside Diptych

Diptych Design

I created this diptych as a means of remixing an assignment which has you change the color/hue of a photo to make it look surreal. The remix I got for this assignment was “Media Bender:”

“Change up the media for the original assignment- take a video assignment into audio or design.”

I chose this assignment because I had already done it and so had a base to use for remixing. The prompt led to a few interesting ideas, but I decided that if I have to wait for my computer to process anymore videos then I won’t be finishing this week on time. So I took more of a design route for this remix.

While working on the original assignment, I kept thinking about Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych, his most famous art piece in which he used a silk screen to alter the colors of an image and recreate it into a series of colorful renditions. I decided to do something similar on Paint.NET by changing the picture’s hue to several new colors. Then I went a bit further and searched through the different effects that this program has until I found some that I liked and that made the picture look different and new. Once I had 11 new versions of this image, I put them together on a grid and organized them into a cascade of colors, fading into black and white, and eventually falling into sketches.

Do You See Waldo

Vision Remix

For one of my remixes, I got the prompt “Where’s Waldo? It” on my Dusty Dawn image’s assignment in which I put a scene in someone’s eye.

“For this remix assignment, you want to place Waldo somewhere conspicuous in a Visual or Design Assignment or slip his name quickly into an audio assignment. If you can figure out a way to make this work for Video, God Bless You.”

This turned out to be fairy easy, since I just had to find Waldo online and put him in the picture. I went into the original Paint.NET file, dropped him in a new layer, shrank him down, and faded him into the background a little. I didn’t want to get too fancy with it and hide him away in the very back of the picture, though, so he’s just hanging out on the sidewalk. Maybe the owner of the eye was looking and just found him?

Pixel Character Tutorial

This pixel assignment was quite possibly one of the funnest assignments I have done for this class. It was one of the first, too! While it was fun, though, it did require some odd little tricks to make it work. So, here’s a tutorial on how to make a 16×16 pixel image!

My own assignment didn’t turn out exactly as I would have liked it to, so I’m also using this tutorial as an opportunity to improve on what I had previously created!

For starters, I highly recommend using the program Paint.NET to work through this assignment. This program is free to download and very comprehensive for doing basic art and photo editing. Once you have the program, chose an idea — a character, vehicle, or anything that requires some sort of detail — and find some sort of reference image. I used this picture of Clint Eastwood from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for mine:


Now that we have everything we need, it’s time to begin! Start by opening Paint.NET.


Then, go up to “Image” and select “Resize”.


Make sure it’s set to “pixels/cm” and change the numbers to 16 x 16.


Now you’re ready to draw! Zoom in so you can see your pixel box better.


Make sure you keep your reference image on hand for when you begin to draw! Make an outline with a few solid colors first, so you can make sure you’re using your space wisely. Once you’re satisfied with this outline, start working on filling it out! Focus on color and shape more than outlining or composition. Since your image is so small, you need to make sure you get as much as you can out of the space provided. Color and shading is vital in this project, since it is your only way of creating depth and distinguishing features. Here’s my process in recreating Clint Eastwood’s famous image:

Now that the image is done, it’s time to resize it so you can show it off! Unfortunately, Paint.NET doesn’t do a very good job in resizing something so small without blurring the image. So, to maintain the integrity of your new tiny picture, save its original size (be sure to save it as a PNG or JPEG file and flatten the image). Then open it in Microsoft Paint and click “Resize”. 500 pixels is a good size for the image!


And you’re done! This project is lots of fun, but it requires a lot more work than it seems to make it look good. Hope this was helpful, and good luck!

Clint Eastwood Pixelated Large

Here’s my first try of this image versus the one I made for this tutorial. What do you think?

Pixel Comparisons

Brown Eyes in a Dusty Dawn


This photo came out of an assignment that encouraged you to show what someone saw through the reflection of their eye. I used the prompt to work my character Danny Keys into this assignment. He likes to sit outside and look out at the little town in which he now resides. It’s a dusty little place, but not without its charm.

This assignment was fairly easy, despite its four star rating. The photos were quick to find, since I already had a good idea of what I wanted out of it. I used my favorite photo editing software, Paint.NET, to place the image of a western town into the eye. I wish I could have pulled out more of the actual color of the eye behind the image, but I wanted to make sure that the town was visible enough to spot easily.

Saddle Bags


This assignment asked us to show what’s in our character’s bag. My character, Danny Keys, has an interesting assortment of items. He keeps a messenger bag on him at all times, just in case he needs anything out of it. In this old thing typically lies a little notebook and pen, for any notes or sketches or what-have-you that you need some paper for. Next, he has a comb – for grooming purposes, of course. Just in case. He’s got keys for his home, money for when he’s out, and sunflower seeds to snack on when he’s hungry.

He also keeps a couple sheets of blank sheet music on him, in the event that he runs into a tune he doesn’t quite know yet. He makes lead sheets for himself when there’s something new to play.

I had to run around and find a lot of different props for this prompt. I don’t keep blank sheet music of my own, but luckily I knew a friend who had some. The rest of the belongings were my own, knowing that Danny would need them for himself. It’s like packing a bag for your kid before they go out.

You Feelin’ Lucky?

Dirty Harry Impersonation

“You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

Dirty Harry is a classic. So is Clint Eastwood in general, honestly. You gotta love the guy. Cowboy to ruthless cop, he’s the man who gets the job done.

I chose to complete this assignment more or less so I could dress up and pretend to be an angry ’70s cop. Hopefully I got my intended result! Here’s the original picture:


Dressing up took a bit of effort, as I’m lacking a red sweater vest and gray blazer, but I decided to take what I had to try out the look. While I was getting everything ready, I realized that my hair does something similar to Harry’s when it’s just dried and blown back. The hardest part was posing and getting the shot right; I had to set up the camera myself and take about a hundred photos until I realized how I should be positioned. But after I shifted around in front of a camera a whole bunch, I finally got a couple of good shots.

I realized while doing this how much effort getting a shot as iconic as this is. I wonder how long the actual cinematography took to make Dirty Harry look so cool (because the wrong angle definitely can make your head look too small next to your finger gun). I really appreciate cameramen in films a lot more now.

Across the Tracks

Love at First Shot

Every day after school, we would walk home together. He lived a few minutes from my house, so we went the same way anyway. We’d taken the same route together since we were young, walking down the streets, chatting when the sounds of the train passing didn’t drown out our voices.

Years passed, high school ended, and we went our separate ways. Every summer, though, we would come home to our families and meet up. Every summer we would walk together and chat when the train wasn’t rattling by. On one of these walks, as we paused our conversation for the train, he took my hand and smiled at me. I smiled back.

The train chugged away and we ducked through the line of trees to see it go. Once it was out of view, we gazed at the sun setting where it had gone. Then we approached the tracks slowly, hand in hand, and stepped into them. We chuckled to one another, unsure of what to say or do otherwise.

This was the one rule we were told to live by: never walk on the tracks.

So, with our hands connecting us across the way, we walked along the rails, heading for the sunset. Just as the train had.  Connected, moving forward, fading into the distance with the light.

We’ve kept going ever since.


This story was inspired by the assignment that asks for an image of two people in love as well as their story. I took a minute to sort through the various “love” pictures until I discovered one that I thought I could work a story into.

When I found this picture, I thought it was pretty sweet. No kissing, not much more than the contact of two hands. I think that sustained connection can sometimes be even more powerful than a kiss or a hug. You can hold someone else’s hand for hours.

Of course, you really shouldn’t walk on train tracks (what were these two thinking!) but the symbolism that those tracks hold is powerful. They stay there, steadily carrying anything that moves along them for miles almost without stop. A bond where two people can go far along the same tracks is a loving image worthy of capturing and exploring.

Oceans Away

Color Change

This assignment prompted you to change the hue of a photo to make a new world. This photo came out surprisingly well when I altered the hue. The original colors were so clearly defined that the new ones blended in as though they were natural to the scene. So, once I chose this color scheme to use, I decided it looked something like the skies of another planet, the shores of an island millions of miles away. Perhaps the greenish-yellow waters erode away rocks that eventually grow pale upon their exposure to their home star. The purple trees on this island are just a part of the vegetation that feeds the lives that thrive on the planet. It’s a surreal world.

In order to create this image, I took an old photo of my own and changed the hue level in paint.NET. Here’s the original:

blue skies over a little rocky harbor

This activity was fairly simple and quite enjoyable. Once you’ve found a picture that has a smooth color transition in the hue change, you can find something truly beautiful. I took some time figuring out what hue I wanted; they ranged from red waters and blue rocks to green rocks and orange waters. I didn’t want it to look too eerie, so I went with a milder purple and yellow-green color scheme. It reminds me of what a world might look like with a different atmosphere, and so I thought it might look better than a suspiciously red sea.

I love how the colors turned out, and again, I am deeply surprised by how smoothly the hue changed overall. With such a simple tweak, I managed to create a whole different island.

Clint Pixelwood


Everyone, meet Clint Pixelwood, a pixel rendition of one of Clint Eastwood’s most famous Western images. I made Mr. Pixelwood during the completion of an assignment that encouraged the making of a pixel image with only a 16×16 resolution. Since I’ve never made pixel art before, this proved to be a bit of a challenge. I don’t know much about shading and colors in such limited space, but I think Pixelwood came out pretty well. I used Paint.Net, which is a free drawing program that allows the use of layers and editing tools, though its brush functions are limited. I had to resize it in MS Paint in order to prevent it from getting fuzzy around the edges of the pixels.

In order to create my image, I referenced this photo of Clint Eastwood:


This photo is iconic to me, and since the assignment prompt encourages you to put as much detail in the limited space as possible, I figured what better way to test the limits of my abilities than to use an actual photo, background and all? Despite not being able to recreate his facial expression, I’m pretty proud of what came out of the assignment. I learned that pixel art has everything to do with colors, less so with shapes and lines.

Clint Eastwood had a big impact on Western film (and on film in general). I admire the work he’s done as an actor and director, and his older films are still incredibly enticing to watch. The image that I attempted to pixelate is from his iconic role in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The image alone speaks volumes of his character and of how Western film is remembered — rugged, rough, dirty, and quiet. The very essence of this image is difficult to describe, but it is certainly fun to rework.